Grandpa Got Caught

What’s a man to do when he has six children ranging in age from four to eleven, he has a mortgage to pay, his wife does not speak the language of the country where he is living, and he is working only as a laborer, so money is tight? Let me also mention that the year is 1925. This was my grandfather’s dilemma.

The answer is to be creative and a little bit sneaky, so my grandfather decided to take advantage of the fruit of the vine for extra income. I had heard about this from my father, and as I have mentioned in my post, The Creativity of Poverty, dandelion wine was the name of the game.

The problem was that this was during the prohibition years, and my grandfather’s business was discovered by the local authorities, so he was hauled off to the pokey.

I recently found a news article which proved that this was not just a family legend. It really happened, and he was held on $1000 bail—the equivalent of over $14000 today. How did he raise the money? I will keep looking for more news articles.

About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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